(From Left) J Akhil, K Pavithra, M Supriya, Brahmanand Reddy, B Mounika, and Subhqtahin – members of Food Saviors, National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Management, India – BUFFET for Youth Challenge Winners
Dhaka: Food Saviors from India representing the National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Management has won the PATA BUFFET for Youth Challenge for their impact in reducing food waste on campus, announced The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
The Challenge was implemented as part of PATA’s efforts in addressing food waste in the tourism and hospitality industry through the BUFFET (Building an Understanding For Food Excess in Tourism) Initiative.
Food Saviors was recognised for their initiative in addressing plate waste by measuring the amount of plate scrapings at the canteen on campus and highlighting the issues through an awareness raising campaign with creative posters, quizzes, and videos.
“We are really proud of all the hard work we put into understanding food waste particularly from plate scraping. It was an eye opening experience for the team to learn the serious issue of food waste management. We started with a team of four and through our food waste awareness campaign, the importance of reducing food waste has spread throughout the campus. I would like to wholeheartedly thank PATA for organising this very important challenge giving us this life-changing opportunity,” said Brahmanand Reddy, Team Lead - Food Saviors.
In just one month, Food Saviors’ efforts saw a nearly 48pc decrease in plate waste. By the end of the fourth month in implementing the awareness campaign, plate scrapings were reduced by 59pc from the baseline.
Furthermore, the team appointed ‘Food Champions’ on campus to ensure that the impact of their efforts extends beyond this challenge.
Impressed by the teams’ efforts, Dr, Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “The youth of today will become the leaders of tomorrow and the BUFFET for Youth challenge aimed to equip our future industry leaders with the skills and knowledge to tackle the challenge of food waste that is prevalent in our industry. The travel and tourism industry is seeing unprecedented exponential growth and if this growth is not sustainable, the structure on which the hospitality industry is based will collapse.”
With generous support from the BUFFET Initiative sponsor, The Travel Corporation, Food Saviors has been invited to present their project as part of the PATA Youth Symposium during the PATA Annual Summit 2019 in Cebu, Philippines. Their case study will also be published in the PATA Food Waste report to be released later this year, and showcased on the PATA sustainability website, sustain.PATA.org.
In addition, the winning team’s work will be featured on a dedicated blog post on sustain.pata.org. Lastly, all Food Saviors team members will be registered as PATA YTP Student Members.
The winner was determined by a judging panel made up of food waste reduction experts comprising Abigail Smith, COO, Scholars of Sustenance (SOS); Maxime Pourrat, Director, APAC - Winnow Solutions; Veronika Forstmeier, Senior Hospitality Programme Officer, World Wildlife Fund (WWF); JC Wong, Young Tourism Professional Ambassador, PATA, and Chi Lo, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Manager, PATA.
The BUFFET Initiative brings together a coalition of industry partners and PATA members to create and implement a campaign that challenges the Asia-Pacific region and its hospitality industry, to reduce food waste to landfill.